Gordon Elliott keeps the faith in former ante-post Cheltenham Festival 2022 ‘banker’

Gordon Elliott is keeping the faith in a former ante-post Cheltenham Festival ‘banker’ with punters.

Fil Dor was one of the most popular choices in the ante-post markets after he made an impressive start to his jumping career.

The four-year-old stormed to victory at Down Royal, Fairyhouse and Leopardstown, putting him on course for next month’s big meeting.

His unbeaten stretch saw bookmakers offer odds of just 5-2 that he could take the Triumph Hurdle.

Davy Russell’s mount looked the strongest candidate and punters backed him to prove it.

Along with even more popular favourites, including Champion Hurdle hotpot Honeysuckle and two-mile chasing titan Shishkin, fans put Fil Dor in their accumulators.

But since the turn of the year, credible opposition has emerged.

Fil Dor was the ante-post favourite for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham 2022
Fil Dor was the ante-post favourite for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham 2022

Pied Piper, who runs for the same owners as Fil Dor, Caldwell Construction Ltd, was hugely impressive when winning at Cheltenham’s trials meeting.

He had beaten Vauban on debut, who then went on to defeat Fil Dor at the weekend’s Dublin Racing Festival.

Elliott, who scooped the Irish Gold Cup there with outsider Conflated, expects the young hurdler to relish the track at Prestbury Park.

After his first loss over hurdles, bookmaker Bet365 pushed Fil Dor’s odds right out to 8-1.

The trainer told the Racing Post : “Vauban looks a very good horse, but I think Cheltenham will suit Fil Dor better than Leopardstown did.

“We’re still thinking of running both Fil Dor and Pied Piper in the Triumph.”

Other firms have Fil Dor priced up at around 5-1, with Pied Piper and Vauban leading the pack at 9-4.

Doctor Parnassus, a nine-length scorer at Taunton on Tuesday, is the latest hopeful to emerge.

Dan Skelton’s charge is 16-1 to follow up in the March 18 contest, the same day as the 2022 Gold Cup, which is sponsored by jewellery firm Boodles.

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